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Expand chart
Data: New American Economy; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Industries in the U.S. that provide food, shelter, clothing and health care often rely on the labor of immigrants — those on work visas, brought here as kids or in the country illegally, according to new data given exclusively to Axios from New American Economy (NAE), a group that supports immigration.

Why it matters: House Democrats are resuming the fight over immigration issues with the reintroduction of the Dream Act, to give legal status to immigrants who came to the U.S., illegally as children.

Studies by NAE have found immigrants almost universally create a net benefit in every state's economy, Andrew Lim, director of quantitative research at NAE, told Axios.

  • 14% of nurses in the U.S. are immigrants, as well as close to a quarter of health aids, the study found.
  • In New York, 80% of the limo and taxi drivers seen all over NYC are immigrants.
  • In California immigrants make up more than three quarters of agriculture workers.
  • More than a quarter of physicians and surgeons in Michigan are immigrants as are around 15% of chefs and cooks in Nebraska.
  • Even in rural areas of the U.S. where there are generally fewer immigrants, those that are there often play an important role in education. Immigrants make up just under 20% of post-secondary teachers in Wisconsin and South Carolina.

The other side: The Trump administration often cites a well-known study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that found that immigrants cost the government a maximum of $300 billion a year.

  • Foreign-born people often have lower wages and use more benefits than their taxes pay for. But the study also found that the long-term economic impact of immigration was generally positive.

Be smart: Demographic trends forecast a future where a much smaller working-age population carries the burden of a much larger elderly population. Immigrants could be important to maintaining American economic growth.

Go deeper

Updated 43 mins ago - Economy & Business

2020 was the economy's worst year since 1946

Source: FRED; Billions of chained 2012 dollars; Chart: Axios Visuals

One of the last major economic report cards of the Trump era lends perspective to the historic damage caused by the pandemic, which continued to weigh on growth in the final quarter of 2020.

By the numbers: The U.S. economy grew at a 4% annualized pace in the fourth quarter, a sharp slowdown in growth compared to the prior quarter. For the full year, the economy shrank by 3.5% — the first annual contraction since the financial crisis and the worst decline since 1946.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How GameStop exposed the market

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Retail traders have found a cheat code for the stock market, and barring some major action from regulatory authorities or a massive turn in their favored companies, they're going to keep using it to score "tendies" and turn Wall Street on its head.

What's happening: The share prices of companies like GameStop are rocketing higher, based largely on the social media organizing of a 3-million strong group of Redditors who are eagerly piling into companies that big hedge funds are short selling, or betting will fall in price.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

Who benefits from Biden's move to reopen ACA enrollment

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Nearly 15 million Americans who are currently uninsured are eligible for coverage on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces, and more than half of them would qualify for subsidies, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation brief.

Why it matters: President Biden is expected to announce today that he'll be reopening the marketplaces for a special enrollment period from Feb. 15 to May 15, but getting a significant number of people to sign up for coverage will likely require targeted outreach.

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